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Best Climates in U.S. for Horses

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  • Best Climates in U.S. for Horses

    Weigh in, please. I live in SE Wisconsin and my horse and I are very sick of the winters. Now, I'm not saying we are going to move, but it becomes more and more tempting every year. It was -7 F here yesterday, without factoring wind chill. I can't take much more of this garbage. Our summers can be hot/humid, but I much prefer that to this ridiculous cold and ice.

    SO, what are your opinions on the best places to keep horses?

    I'd prefer a place with:

    As moderate temperatures as possible year round, but if it has to be one extreme or the other, I'd prefer it to be "too hot" vs. "too cold." I freaking HATE the cold, and so does my horse.

    Not too bad for allergies.

    Not too bad for bugs.

    If it gives any guidance, I would basically prefer to live in WI in the summer and somewhere else (Florida, maybe) in winter. But I have to work full time, so could not ever live in one place half the year and another place the other half of the year.

    Oh...and my husband owns a small business where we live now...so we are really probably not moving any time soon...but a girl can dream, right?

  • #2
    I liked N. TX. I was about 2 hours north of Dallas on the OK/TX border.

    Winters were pretty easy (I moved there from IA). We'd get cold snaps that lasted for 3 or 4 days in the winter where the hoses would freeze if you didn't drain them properly, but for the most part, I could ride whenever I wanted all winter long.

    No mud. Not even in the spring. Of course, no grass either. Sandy soil. So we fed hay year round. Land was cheap.

    Wasn't humid in the summer (not like the Midwest!), but was HOT. Trip digits for days at a time. Kept horses in under fans and misters during the day, out at night. Had to ride very early in the morning or very late at night. Some horses had a harder time with the heat though. And if you went to a horse show that was outside, it could be a challenge keeping the horses hydrated.

    However, there wasn't any time of year that you couldn't ride. The bugs weren't as bad as in the midwest, there was still a true sense of 4 seasons although no maple trees to clue you in. Veterinarians and good farriers were all over the place. Economy in the area where I lived was strong, mostly due the AFB.

    Close to DFW so for my work, travel was easy.

    Not as much English riding there though.

    I am not a fan of FL summer--too humid. So there's no way I could do that. But N TX was nice.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
      Not as much English riding there though.
      Argyle, about an hour northwest of Dallas, has some of the top Hunter/Jumper barns in the country. You can't throw a rock without hitting an H/J or eventing barn up there. So gotta disagree with that one.

      But yeah, if you can handle the hot summers, North Texas would be pretty close to my ideal climate. I mean, the high in Dallas is 74 today. (Not nearly as much humidity as Houston or Florida and all the bonuses of a mild winter.)


      • #4
        I think my area (San Mateo County coast – 30 miles south of San Francisco, CA) has a pretty ideal climate when it comes to horses, especially if you like mild, and no extremes.

        Our January average high is 59 degrees, the January low is 39 degrees.

        Come mid summer, the highs average 71 degrees, the over night lows 49 degrees.

        Summers are dry, low humidity unless it is foggy, which means it is also cool. Winters bring rain (5 inches a month through the winter), an occasional frost.

        NO BUGS. Seriously, being close to the coast we do not even get mosquitoes. I rarely use fly spray.

        We do have lots of pollens, and one must ward off mildew during damp winters.

        It is never HOT and it is never super cold.
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


        • #5
          Arizona is a pretty nice place. Although it gets very dry in the summer, from about October to March its about 69 - 80. An average day in March would be a sunny day at 66 degrees averageing. For the past week, at noon it has been about 72. Tudcan is a nice place to stay for horses. There is the HIT's Tuscan from Feburary to late march (March 24) and the three Tuscan Fall Shows in October to early november. Plus the Arizona Season Finales, in Scottsdale, which are very nice shows.

          As for one the east coast Georgia is a awesome place. In August, it's 68% chance sunny, with usally about 14 cloudy days and 18 sunny. Hamiltion, GA is a nice place to be. Summers there tend to be mainly cloudy, with only about 8 clear days. Compared to the rest of the country, Hamiltion has a nice tempature range. The lowest was 36* in Jan and 91* in July. December is averaging at 50* high of 59* and a low of 41*. Most 4 bedroom houses are currently at $500k. There is Popular Place Farm, Little Creek Quarter Horses, and Circle S Ranch to name a few. There are many dressage shows in Hamilton, plus all the Alphretta shows and of course Conyers. Many BNT's go to the Conyers shows


          • #6
            i used to live in ventura, ca, and i think it is the ideal climate. never super hot or super cold, sunny most days, and lotttts of trail riding. no real grazing, though, and homes cost $500k+, which is why i sadly left.
            My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


            • #7
              You might want to change the title to something about "Best Climate to USE Horses Year Around". I thought you were talking the healthiest, best place to raise horses in for THE ANIMAL, which is not the same.


              • #8
                I love the Ventura area, particularly around Camarillo.

                I would also agree with the Bay area.

                Love North of San Diego.

                Unfortunately, all of the areas I just described means you have to be Bill Gates to live there.


                • #9
                  ^^^ Eh, it depends.

                  I am FAR from wealthy, but manage to make it in the bay area. There are trade offs. I spend many hours commuting (live in the COUNTRY, work in San Francisco), I pay only $375 for board, that includes grass turnouts, trails, and well maintained arena.

                  Lived in Orange County for a few years and could swing renting a beach town condo and boarding a horse there as well.

                  I wouldn’t be able to do it with children, but as it is, I can rent a small home on 90 acres, board a horse and live modestly with my small (for the area) income.

                  Now if I wanted to OWN my own coast side horse facility. Then yes, I would have to be Bill Gates!
                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                    You might want to change the title to something about "Best Climate to USE Horses Year Around". I thought you were talking the healthiest, best place to raise horses in for THE ANIMAL, which is not the same.
                    Thanks for your input, but my horse actually does not do well in colder temperatures. He does much better in extreme heat than extreme cold, comfort and soundness wise. So, for him, the best place to keep him for THE ANIMAL is a warmer climate.


                    • #11
                      North Florida is the best place I've ever lived for great riding weather from late fall through spring. Moderate temps, low humidity, few insects. Yeah, summer stinks, hot and humid, but early mornings are still not bad for riding for most of the summer and it usually cools off enough to ride without being too uncomfortable around dusk.

                      I gladly accept the heat and humidity of summer here to avoid the up-north winters.

                      If, however, I ever win the lottery, I'll spend summers on the west coast of Michigan and winters in the Florida Panhandle.
                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                      that's even remotely true."

                      Homer Simpson


                      • #12
                        Well, coastal NE SC and SE NC have good footing (sandy and flat) and it never gets too cold to ride. Today everybody's carrying on about how cold it is but it's going to hit 40F this afternoon so I bet you'd call that spring. I've got a lesson booked for 2 this afternoon.

                        However, summers are pretty miserable. Most of us plan to not ride for about eight to ten weeks of July/Aug/Sept., or if we do ride, we plan to be off the horse by about 7 am. But the rest of the year is fine, so I think it's an OK trade.

                        We have bugs, but I bet there are worse places for them. We have the big B52 horseflies, the regular-sized flies, and clouds of mosquitoes. I suppose the big difference for you would be having them around most of the year. I got mosquito-bit last weekend. The good thing is you get so immune to the bites that they only last for an hour or so.

                        Allergies - I don't know. TGiH, I don't have them.
                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                        • #13
                          If you live anywhere close to the water in FL, summers really aren't that bad since you get the seabreeze. The only thing is, summer lasts a really long time here - pretty much April - October. However, that consistency is one of the things I really love about it. What's the weather going to be like today? About 80, kind of humid, with a breeze. That's basically my answer for every day, except maybe in July/August when it's "About 85, definitely humid, but at least there's a breeze."

                          My parents live in Myrtle Beach, SC, and I've found that their summers are more stifling than ours here in south Florida.
                          Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


                          • #14
                            I was figuring Hawaii would be pretty perfect. Except, you know...the expense of getting your horse there!
                            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                            • #15
                              I lived in VA with horses, and now I am in TX with horses... spent time in FL. I would vote for the Carolinas. I know there are places in CA that are really amazing weather... but I'm an east coast girl...


                              • #16
                                I'm from Los Angeles, but lived in Sonoma County (just north of San Francisco) for the past 5+ years. It's pretty darn perfect if you ask me.

                                Lots of open space to keep horses and very ag based (horses and wine are the two biggest businesses here). An hour from SF if you have any desire for that "big city" feeling. Easy access to smaller day/weekend shows in most disciplines or within reasonable trailering distance for a lot of bigger shows.

                                No bugs. But a decent amount of rain. It's wet all winter, but the sun does come out almost daily. Summers get warm, but they're also dry so you don't get that sticky feeling. Pollen is a problem for people new to the area, but it tends to clear up for most people in a couple years.

                                Also, it's not super cheap to live here, but Sonoma County is much cheaper than Marin (closer to SF) or Napa (where I think everyone is rich).

                                All that being said... I think I would move to NC if given the chance. I've only heard amazing things.
                                Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique